All of Gossamer Gear’s overnight backpacks, the Mariposa (60L), the Gorilla (40L), the G4 (54L), and the Murmur (36L) include a SitLight Sit Pad that can be used as a seat during rest breaks or in camp. The foam pad slides into two elastic pad sleeves on the pack of the back to provide cushioning and enhance ventilation. It can also be quickly removed and used as a seat or a dry surface, serving multiple purposes, and eliminating the need to carry an extra sit pad with you on the trail.
I use my SitLight Sit Pad frequently throughout the day and when camping for extra “bum” insulation, as a dry spot to sit on, and even as a front porch for my tent. It’s such a useful and multi-purpose ultralight backpacking item that I’m surprised more backpacking manufacturers don’t incorporate it as a backpack feature.
The great thing about the Gossamer Gear SitLight Sit Pad is that it’s stored on the outside of the pack’s main compartment, so it’s incredibly easy to pull out and use when you need it, without having to open your pack or unpack it (like packs that have an internal bivy pad stored inside the pack behind the hydration sleeve).
The SitLight Sit Pad is made out of closed cell foam so it won’t absorb any sweat or water if it rains. The side facing the back of the pack is smooth, while the side touching your back has an egg-shell pattern which helps promote ventilation to keep your shirt dry: not that you sweat much anyway when carrying an ultralight load.
When Gossamer Gear ships an overnight backpack to customers, it arrives un-assembled, so you have to slip the SitLight Sit Pad into the backpacks stretch pockets yourself. Whatever you do, don’t throw the foam pad away because it looks like a piece of packaging: it’s actually an integral part of your backpack!
Inserting the pad into the stretch pad sleeves is easy. Just slip one end into the top stretch sleeve and the other end into the bottom one, like so. Make sure the bottom half of the pad lies on top of the hip belt inside the sleeve. This helps creates a thin lumbar shelf which provides better load transfer to the hips without being to pronounced.
To remove, just pull it out. The pad isn’t delicate and can take quite a lot of abuse. If you somehow you destroy a SitLight Sit Pad and need to reorder one, be aware that they are cut to different lengths depending on the size of the Gossamer Gear backpack you use.
And that is the Gossamer Gear SitLight Sit Pad, which remains a signature feature of Gossamer Gear’s overnight ultralight backpacks and is still one of the cleverest multi-use items in the ultralight backpacking world.
Disclaimer: Philip Werner has been using Gossamer Gear packs since 2008. While he has received free products from Gossamer Gear, he was under no obligation to write this article and the views it contains are entirely his own.